Posted on November 28, 2009
It had to happen: New York’s famous holiday windows have gone high-tech. Department stores have caught up with the digital age, no longer content to feature mere winter wonderlands or smiling Santas. Here, a look at the must sees: Over at Bloomingdale’s (59th and Lexington Avenue), happy famous couples fill the windows, from Batman and Robin to Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Check out the Smile-O-Matic, in which passersby can see themselves on a screen surrounded by digitally remastered versions of famous art work, such as Botticelli’s “Venus.” The perennially hip Barney’s (Madison Avenue and 61st Street) has bypassed holiday themes altogether in favor of the 35th anniversary of "Saturday Night Live.” You’ll find The Coneheads, Wayne’s World, even The Church Lady, in a bizarre blizzard of paper mache ornaments. The children’s story ”Twinkle, Twinkle Little Flake” gets a digital boost with the help of 20 video monitors that animate scenes from the book at Saks Fifth Avenue. (Yes, Windows 7 powers the windows…) Shoppers can even tweet their wish list and have it appear in the yes, windows (It's at 611 Fifth Avenue.) Over at Bergdorf Goodman, it’s not space age as much as it is surreal, with a nod, perhaps, to Tim Burton’s upcoming film "Alice in Wonderland”: watch for the receding staircase and the edgy guests dressed in fashionable Alexander McQueen. Macy’s (34th Street and Herald Square) also goes interactive by letting shoppers assemble letters to Santa with ready-made phrases that pop up on touch screens. And even the goody-goody Lord & Taylor (424 Fifth Avenue at 38th Street) has recognized the computer age this year. Nothing too risqué, of course, but the Victorian skaters in the windows move on a screen, while pelted by a digital snowstorm.